Bunbury is a city full of surprises, with first impressions not quite what they seem. Take the ‘wild’ dolphins in Koombana Bay, for example. If you are lucky enough to see them close to shore, you’ll realise how tame they have become. Or the Bunbury Silos – one-time wheat storage that now contains luxury apartments and restaurants. Even the West Australian city itself feels more like a country town once you’ve stayed for a while…
With so much about Bunbury sitting in a mental grey area that will see you forever revising your initial perceptions, you may end up thinking you’ve simply had a little too much Sauv Blanc in the surrounding Geographe Wine Region. Are the dolphins wild or tame? Is the building a wheat silo or accommodation? Either way, Bunbury is anything but grey.
BUNBURY’S TOP 10
|10. Lena Diving Wreck Explore the underwater world around this sunken wreck.||5. Big Swamp Wildlife Park Enjoy lunch amongst the birds and marsupials and learn a bit about the surrounding environment.|
|9. Leschnault Inlet Join a kite surfing class or, if you already know the ropes, head straight out onto the water.||4. Tuart Forest National Park Explore the rugged forest landscape with its 400-year-old trees.|
|8. Kings Cottage Museum See how things used to be in Bunbury in days gone by.||3. Koombana Bay Head here in the morning for the best chance of spotting those tamed wild dolphins.|
|7. Boulters Heights Enjoy harbour views and a man-made waterfall.||2. Mangrove Boardwalk The best way to experience the 20,000-year-old mangrove ecosystem.|
|6. Dolphin Discovery Centre Relax on the deckchairs and watch a documentary on dolphins.||1. Koombana Beach Protected by the bay, the beach is calm and peaceful – and in the morning dolphins will sometimes come close to shore.|
The City of Bunbury Australia Day Celebrations and Fireworks Spectacular delivers on the name in January.
In February, enjoy great Aussie music in a spectacular winery setting at the Brookhampton Vineyard Concert.
The city will be humming with Latin music for Viva Bunbury in March, when a carnival atmosphere takes over and parties hit the streets.
The kids will be excited if you visit in October for the Bunbury Kidsfest, which has heaps of hands-on activities for youngsters.
In November, the Geographe Crush Food and Wine Festival showcases the produce of this great growing region.
WHEN TO GO
- Bunbury enjoys a Mediterranean climate, although it’s about as far from being in the Mediterranean as you can get!
- With warm summers (average tops of 30ºC (86ºF)) and mild winters (average tops of 17ºC (63ºF)), Bunbury is a comfortable place to visit year-round.
- If rain’s not your thing, however, you may want to avoid visiting in winter as it is the wettest time of year. About 150mm usually falls in July.
- Buses run throughout the city and surrounding sub